White Chocolate, Macadamia Nut, Coconut, and Cranberry Cookies

December 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

I made these cookies several months ago for my husband and his friends.  The cookies are golden and crisp on the outside with a fluffy center.  The perfect balance.  I filled a huge cookie jar with these cookies and thought to myself , “There is no way that all of these cookies will be eaten.”  I was right, by the end of the night only 1/4 of the jar was left.  Success.

Unfortunately, I did not write down the recipe as I was making the cookies.  I decided to try to recreate the original recipe.   Thank goodness I wrote the recipe down this time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1  10 oz. package of Trader Joe’s White Baking Chips
  • 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded or flaked coconut
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts (coarsely chopped)

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 °F.  Add your butter, at room temperature, and both granulated and brown sugars to the bowl of an electric mixer.  Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

2.  Mix in the eggs, at room temperature, one at a time.  Make sure each egg is incorporated into the batter before adding the next egg.  Once the eggs are mixed in, add your vanilla extract.

3.  Sift your dry ingredients together, and then add it to your butter mixture.  I add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time.  Mix the dry ingredients in until incorporated.  Do not over mix the batter.

4.  Turn the electric mixer off and add the white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, coconut, and chopped macadamia nuts to the batter.  Stir, by hand, to evenly distribute all of these goodies throughout the batter.

5.  Place large tablespoons of batter on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a nonstick mat.  Bake the cookies for 16-18 minutes.  Let the cookies cool, on the sheet, for about 2 minutes before you transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Sause

August 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

I had the pleasure of having my sister cook for me last week.  She made the most amazing coconut shrimp with a pineapple dipping sauce.  She offered to share her recipe on The Week in Food, so here it goes:

Ingredients

Coconut Shrimp:

1 cup flour

¾ tspn Salt

1 tspn Cayenne Pepper

5 egg whites, lightly beaten

2 ½ sweetened, shredded coconut (dry)

2 lbs. large Shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied

2 cups Canola Oil – for frying

Dipping Sauce:

1 cup canned pineapple

3 Scallions

¼ cup fruit preserves (like apricot, etc.)

¼ cup Cilantro leaves

2 Tbsn Lime Juice

½ Jalapeno, finely chopped

Salt to taste

Directions

Combine the flour, salt, and Cayenne pepper in a shallow bowl

In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg whites

On a baking sheet, spread out the shredded coconut

Line the three sets of ingredients in the above order from left to right

Begin dipping the shrimp in each – first into the dry flour mixture, then into the egg whites, and finally into the coconut, pressing the coconut firmly into the shrimp

Chill the shrimp for at least an hour

In a large saucepan, heat the oil until moderately hot, but not smoking

Carefully place the shrimp into the oil in batches, and remove using mesh strainer once they are golden and slightly crispy – about 2 minutes per batch

Place on paper towels to drain excess oil

To keep warm, place in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit

To make the dipping sauce, combine the ingredients in a food processor and transfer to a saucepan and heat (this allows the jalapeno to cook throughout the sauce so that one single bite is not too spicy)

Cool and serve alongside the shrimp.

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

April 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

In celebration of the new season of LOST, I made chocolate coconut cupcakes.  These cupcakes require a glass of soy milk (or regular milk) because they are extremely chocolatey and rich.  They are also very moist because of the sour cream that is added to the recipe.  If the sour cream sounds odd and you are having doubts about adding it…. don’t even think about it.  You need to add the sour cream to these because  there is nothing worse than a dry chocolate cupcake!  Nothing!

Ingredients for the cup cakes:

  • 5 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose  flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1  1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into two pieces
  • 1  1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • Powdered sugar to thicken

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°.  Put the chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl or the top bowl in a double boiler.  Place the bowl over a sauce pan of barley simmering water or over the bottom of a double boiler.  Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

2.  Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium sized bowl and set aside.

3.  Using an electric mixer (I love my Kitchen Aid) on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes or until creamy.

4.  Scape the sides of the bowl and add the melted chocolate on low speed.

5.  On medium speed, add the eggs (one at a time).  Make sure each egg is incorporated into the batter before adding the next.

6.  Add the vanilla and blend until creamy, about 1 minute.  Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain.

7.  On low speed, add half of the flour mixture.  Mix just to incorporate it, do ont over mix.  Add in the water and then the remaining flour mixture.

8.  Bake the cupcakes until the tops are firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Cool the cupcakes on a metal rack before frosting.

9.  To make the frosting, heat the cream and butter over low heat until the butter has melted.

10.  When the butter has melted and small bubbles begin to form on the surface, remove the pot from the heat.  Add chocolate chips and stir until melted.  Add the vanilla.  Whisk until the sauce is smooth and all of the chocolate has melted.

11.  Let the cool to room temperature.  Add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until the frosting is at your desired consistency.  Top the cupcakes with the chocolate frosting, sweetened shredded coconut, and a small dollop of the chocolate frosting (on top of the layer of coconut).  If you don’t like coconut, you can top the chocolate frosting with chocolate sprinkles.

Blueberry Coconut Granola all week

April 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

I love making this granola and having it around to munch on.  It is the perfect snack with yogurt, some soy milk, or even by itself.  Mark is partial to this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered raw almonds
  • 2/3 cup dried blueberries
  • 2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 325º.  Melt butter and honey is a sauce pan over low heat (do not bring to a boil).

2.  When butter and honey are melted, add the brown sugar to the sauce pan.  Continue to heat the sugar mixture until smooth and all of the brown sugar granules have been dissolved.

3.  When the sugar mixture is smooth, remove from heat and add the water and vanilla.  Stir until smooth.

4.  Combine oats, dried blueberries, almonds, and coconut into a large bowl.  Stir until the dry ingredients are all mixed together.

5.  Pour sugar mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients.  Stir until combined.

6.  Pour the contents of the bowl onto a large rimmed nonstick baking sheet.  Evenly spread out the granola.

7.  Bake, stirring often, until the granola is a golden brown (about 25-30 minutes).  Let cool completely.  Granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

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